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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Francis Ngannou after getting dominated at UFC 220?

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MMA: UFC 220- Miocic vs Ngannou Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 220 blew the roof off the TD Garden Arena last Saturday night (Jan. 20, 2018) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Volkan Oezdemir, who as beat down by UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the second round of their co-main event bout (see it again here).

And Thomas Almeida, who was knocked out by Rob Font to suffer his second straight defeat. But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Francis Ngannou.

Going into his first-ever Heavyweight championship fight, you would think he was the defending champion, not Stipe Miocic. That’s because the promotion did all it could to push “The Predator,” as every promo seemed to give him top billing, promoting his power and rise to the top of the game.

So what happens when you disrespect a champion?

You wake a sleeping giant, who really wasn’t sleeping, he was simply taking nap waiting for his next challenge. And he passed it with flying colors, as Miocic took it to Ngannou for a full 25 minutes, weathering the big man’s powerful punches early to implement his overall dominance.

It wasn’t even close, as Ngannou was huffing and puffing after two rounds, unable to land the big shot early as he’s been accustomed to. And it showed that the muscular big man had never gone past round two in his career, as he simply couldn’t muster up anything due to exhaustion.

While Stipe made history with his lopsided win, Francis will have to go back to the drawing board. Still, Ngannou will take something from the loss, saying during the post-fight presser that he learned to no longer underestimate his foes, and many other important lessons.

“I’m going to keep improving and come back stronger than I was. I think what I learned tonight was the last piece of game. The thing that missing from my game. The part I never had the opportunity to learn. I will be back stronger. I can get Stipe again, I can take anyone in the division. I just have to be work on my gameplan. With what I learned today, it will make it easy for my next fight and it doesn’t matter my opponent. If i want to stay positive, I say I learned more tonight than I did the last four years.”

As for who Francis will meet next, that’s a bit tough to call.

Cain Velasquez is close to nearing a return to action, but he has yet to still give a clear timetable. As for Fabricio Werdum, he will likely get a rematch against Stipe Miocic, as giving Cain a title fight after more than a year and a half away from action just doesn’t seem right.

Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis have fights coming up against Curtis Blaydes and Marcin Tybura, respectively, so once the dust settles in those matchups we can get a clearer idea of what is next for “The Predator.”

For my money, I’d like to see a much-desired matchup between Francis and Lewis should “Black Beast” prove victorious in Austin.

For complete UFC 220 results and coverage click here